27 November 2012
Vodafone helps drivers to ignore their mobiles
Help is at hand for drivers battling the urge to respond to incoming TXTs, thanks to Vodafone DriveSafe. Available to all Vodafone customers free of charge, DriveSafe will send an automated reply to any TXT message received, letting the sender know that the driver is on the road and unable to respond.
Although illegal for more than three years, TxTing while driving is still a major issue and a key target in the Police’s current cell phone blitz.
Endorsed by the NZ AA and the NZ Transport Agency, DriveSafe is activated by TXTing ‘DRIVE ON’ to 760. The service is then turned off by TXTing ‘DRIVE OFF’ to the same number. Anyone TXTing the driver during this time will receive the message “I’m driving right now. I’ll read your TXT as soon as it is safe to do so. Vodafone DriveSafe.”
Vodafone’s General Manager of Products, Greg McAlister says DriveSafe is aimed at helping New Zealanders use their mobiles safely.
“Texting and driving is such a topical issue in New Zealand, and Vodafone wants to play its part in contributing to road safety. We would love to see all our customers using DriveSafe.”
McAlister says that all Vodafone sales staff who are regularly on the road are now using the service.
AA Motoring Affairs General Manager Mike Noon says Vodafone DriveSafe is simple, yet effective. “One of the worst things about texting and driving is that drivers know they shouldn’t do it but many cases just can’t seem to stop themselves when they hear a message arrive.
“Vodafone DriveSafe is a simple tool that can help drivers to leave the phone alone. The driver can relax knowing the person who texted them has been sent a reply and, as a bonus, it is spreading the message that texting and driving are a potentially lethal mix.”
Vodafone New Zealand and DriveSafe won the User Safety Innovation category at the Global Telecoms Awards in London earlier this year.
DriveSafe is Vodafone’s third innovation that gives customers control over who contacts them and how. It follows Vodafone Blacklist which allows customers to bar malicious calls and TXTs and Vodafone Guardian, an Android app which enables parents to control functionality on their children’s smartphones.